The Massacre at Bluff Creek
… just when you think you've heard it all!
by Bill Miller
Just when you think you've heard it all … there comes a story so bizarre that it boggles the mind as to how it could have possibly gotten started in the first place. As I looked into the matter for myself so to see what evidence someone could possibly produce in support of such a horrific claim as alleging that a family of Sasquatch were murdered in Bluff Creek, California in 1967 and were then butchered like something out of a B grade horror movie, I found myself in total disbelief as to the extent that someone would go to so to try and sell a story and how gullible others would need to be to buy into it. It was soon apparent to me that this tale was born not from fact, but rather from rumor and innuendo with an added slight of hand.
It has been said that the bigger the lie … the more people will believe it. These words could never of been truer in this case or how else could otherwise intelligent people of been taken in while what I refer to as 'tabloid research practices' had taken them over. Allegations being born through what I deemed to be poor investigational standards were quickly being leveled at select individuals before a real inquiry had even begun. Because so much of this story appears to have been created from fallacy, it is difficult to imagine that an agenda wasn't being fulfilled somehow by shooting first from the hip and then asking questions later. It wasn't long before a select few individuals were claiming to have inside information about a 'very, very dark secret' pertaining to Bluff Creek … and without first offering any specific substantiated details - they were instead demanding answers. In one particular case, the idea of taking a polygraph examination was being sought for John Green by one Dave Paulides (author of the books titled 'The Hoopa Project" and "Tribal Bigfoot"). But before I get started, I would like to share some of what I had pieced together of this alleged massacre at Bluff Creek by putting some of the widely scattered about and far too often unfounded assertions being made based solely on what I considered to be poor investigational practices and interpretations evolving around a darkened - over contrasted - multi-generational film copy.
The first I had heard of anything whereas Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin had partaken in the slaughtering and butchering of a family of Sasquatch in Bluff Creek back in the fall of 1967 came by way of Bobbie Short. Bobbie has one of most well known sites on the Sasquatch known as 'Bigfoot Encounters'. At the time I was not yet privy to the details pertaining to what was being alleged to have occurred in Bluff Creek concerning the killing of a family of Sasquatch. Instead I was offered a short simple generic response on June 11th
of 2008 which said, "Let me take you back to times when Rene (Dahinden) used to say he had a secret about the filming of the Patterson creature. I know the real truth and I suspect John (Green) does too.... but the trouble is with advancements in technology, it would appear that keeping the secret isn't going to work any longer....... ask him. If he won't tell you, I will ....." It has now been 15 months since that time and Bobbie has yet to tell me precisely what this secret is that John Green was alleged to be harboring. However, after being offered an invitation by Green to read a series of emails and responses that Bobbie and others had sent to him over time, I feel that I've gotten somewhat of a better picture as to the conspiratorial mindset of some of those individuals who would later become a part of the fiasco leading up to what has been referred to as 'The Massacre at Bluff Creek'.Despite John Green and others having written quite thoroughly about the events that transpired in the summer of 1967 at Bluff Creek, California … and again later that fall when Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin had gotten a film of what appears to be a female Sasquatch in the same general area, there came no shortage of questions that could have been answered had the interested party of just taken the time to review the available materials already in print. One such source is 'On the Track of the Sasquatch' written by John Green and published in 1968. On pages 45 through 49 is a summary of the events that caused John Green and Rene Dahinden to merge upon Bluff Creek in the summer of 1967 so to investigate fresh foot tracks that were reported to have been left on Blue Creek Mountain the night before. During that visit, there was some movie film shot of the area by Rene, along with still pictures by both Rene and John so to make a record of their trip and what they had seen. My understanding is that some time after their return to Canada, Rene made an edited version of his film which was later used to give talks on the subject at various venues. Yet in some of the emails I had read between Green and Bobbie Short there were these types of questions being asked in which the apparent source for Short's information had involved MK Davis and a multi-generational copy of Rene's film that Chris Murphy had apparently shared with Davis. Here are some examples of the types of questions that Bobbie presented to Green …"Have you ever sat down with MK and taken the time to understand it before you cast a critical eye?""Am I to understand that you did a quick turn-around immediately after Bud Ryerson's phone call ("what you're looking for is here") and flew back down to Orleans airstrip in a chartered plane with Rene to merely "look for more tracks" and that you waited for Don Abbot to arrive several days later, merely so he could look at tracks? Come on John, that doesn't fly with anyone least of all me...you hadn't been home 24 hours when that phone call from Ryerson came in. That's in your Ape book.""You had already seen tracks in Bluff Crk…what did Ryerson mean when he told you"what you're looking for is here.""Why would you hire a handler & tracking dog to look for more tracks?" "Why did Dale Moffitt insist on two rifles for protection? Protection from what, tracks?"Theses are but a few of the questions that were being put to John that a mere reading of his books would have all but answered them. As for me personally, I have a method that I like to utilize in such matters which is called 'Occams Razor'. Occams Razor is quite simply a
principle whereas 'entities must not be multiplied beyond what is necessary'
. In other words … it was most logical and certainly acceptable that John Green would want to be called if fresh tracks showed up again in the Bluff Creek area so that a tracking dog could be put on the scent as soon as possible. It was also quite reasonable to believe that the dog handler would want rifles on hand in the event that his highly skilled dog was able to lead the group to their quarry. Let us not forget that no one really knew what they were dealing with or what would happen in the event of a confrontation with what ever it was that had been leaving the large tracks on the ground at that time. Keep in mind that it would be almost two months later before Patterson and Gimlin came upon and filmed one of the creatures responsible for leaving the large foot tracks on the ground. Until that time the world had only heard general descriptions from eye witnesses as to their being a large upright ape-like creature roaming the Pacific Northwest. It only made sense that the dog handler would want to play it safe and have the added protection for his canine.
In further review of the correspondence record between John Green and several other people who were seemingly hinting that something sinister had happened at Bluff Creek, I came across an email whereas Dave Paulides had said this to Al Hodgson … "I actually got my hands on a fairly old copy of the PG film, full framed with segments on it nobody has seen. It is in the experts hands and many of our impressions of what actually occurred is playing out. I actually believe that John Green and Gimlin are harboring a very, very dark secret, really
To those who don't know who Al Hodgson is … Al was the man who owned the hardware store in Willow Creek, California at the time Roger Patterson shot his famous film. It was the same evening after Roger Patterson had filmed the Sasquatch (October 20th
of 1967) when Al had got a call from Roger who was using the pay-phone outside of Al's store so to tell him what he and Gimlin had just witnessed only hours earlier.
While Dave Paulides has been careful not to commit himself to certain specifics, he had made particular references that pointed in the direction he appeared to be heading in this ridiculous tale of slaughtered Sasquatch. In one of his emails, Paulides attached some images to John Green that were not of the P/G film as he had mistakenly thought, but rather from the Rene Dahinden film taken during Green's return visit to Bluff Creek in late August of 1967. It appeared that Paulides may have been unaware that the old film he had told Hodgson about coming into possession of was actually the edited version of Dahinden's film on Blue Creek Mountain that had been attached to a copy of Patterson's film for public showing purposes and other venues. I still find myself wondering how anyone could think that the two films (Dahinden's and Patterson's) were shot at the same time. The facts was that the lush green scenery of late summer in Dahinden's film compared to the deepened red fall colors seen in Patterson's film is quite discernable.
Needless to say that Green wasn't impressed with the accusatory remark Paulides made to Hodgson on July 15th
of 2009 about John harboring a 'very, very dark secret'. Green responded that if Paulides wanted to know about what he saw in Bluff Creek during his visit there in the last week of August 1967, then the thing for Paulides to have done would be to of gone to who would best know the answer – John Green! In an emailed response to Green on that particular point, Paulides arrogantly writes: "Telling me how to be an investigator is like me telling you how to be a journalist. Telling me I should go to you first is the EXACT opposite protocol to ANY investigation
So just what should a good investigator do? Let us review once again what Paulides wrote to Al Hodgson … "I actually got my hands on a fairly old copy of the PG film, full framed with segments on it nobody has seen. It is in the experts hands and many of our impressions of what actually occurred is playing out
In a later email to Green from Paulides dated August 17th
of 2009 – Paulides asked this about the film he has had in his possession for at least one month … "What is the man pointing to on the ground that you appear to be looking down at with something on your shoulder? What is on your shoulder? We had our experts determine what was on your shoulder and with 99% accuracy they determined it was the attached and inserted camera. I trust your integrity, but please tell me what is on your shoulder?
The multigenerational still frame from Dahinden's movie that Paulides was referring to when asking what Green had on his shoulder is seen below. The second image with a movie camera inserted is a crop of the same frame that Paulides also presented to Green. The inserted camera illustration was presented to Green alleging it to be the large movie camera that Paulides (unnamed) experts were 99% sure of seeing … (see below)
Still capture believed to have
originated from MK Davis
The problem I have with Paulides and his alleged unnamed experts claiming with a 99% certainty that Green is holding a large movie camera is that they are using a very dark over contrasted copy of Dahinden's film. Areas that are dark all blend together, thus making borders all but impossible to determine most of the time. Areas that are brightly lit and heavily contrasted are expanded out of their original borders, thus often giving the interpreter a false image of what's really there. It's also known or should be known that movie film, especially Kodachrome II film like that which Patterson used, had a highly reflective property and was made for outdoor light exposure. As often happens when copied by way of artificial light … color shifts within the image take place. In other words, colors often look differently on a copy film than they were seen on the camera original. As I looked at these images, I had to ask myself what kind of expert looking at photographic evidence would want to make a call so bold as to proclaim a 99% certainty of anything from such a poor image source as the one being provided by Paulides. It would seem to me that a logical and responsible approach to take would be to want to see the original film which would undoubtedly be better lit, clearer, sharper, less contrasted, and offer a more accurately colored image for study compared to those images that these alleged experts were willing to rest their hats on. Let's be honest … Who has ever felt that one can see more detail through a dirty window vs. a clean one. As of September 17th
of 2009, I am told by John Green (owner of a 1st
generation copy) and Eric Dahinden (current owner of the camera original) that Paulides, nor anyone representing him, has sought to see either man's film which is of far better quality than that Paulides was using.
The end result of trying to interpret poor multi-generational and over contrasted images must have surely led in part to the series of questions that Paulides put to John Green in his email of August 17th
Some of those questions were …Question #1- What is the man pointing to on the ground that you appear to be looking down at with something on your shoulder?. What is on your shoulder?Photo #2John- you say that isn't a camera on your shoulder? What is it then?We had our experts determine what was on your shoulder and with 99% accuracy they determined it was the attached and inserted camera. I trust your integrity, but please tell me what is on your shoulder?Photo #3 Has same content as #2.Photo #4 It appears you have something on your belt just above and in front of your left elbow. What is it on your belt? Is that a pistol holster?
It should be noted once again that it was on July 15th
of 2009 when Paulides wrote to Al Hodgson and said that he and his experts had in their possession the film in question. However, it appears that neither Paulides nor his experts had ever actually watched the entire Blue Creek Mountain sequences of John Green in motion or else they would have known that Green had nothing on his shoulder. As the film advanced they would have been forced to see Green's left hand pull away from his shoulder and in it he would only be holding a small still camera. (See top right of the illustration below)
Going back to the question Paulides put to John Green where he asked what it was that Green had on his left hip …
Paulides: "It appears you have something on your belt just above and in front of your left elbow. What is it on your belt? Is that a pistol holster"
No better example could be made for what not being thorough can do when attempting to interpret images because had Paulides or his alleged experts of just taken the time to study the film, they then should have noticed that when Green turned into the sunlight that it was quite obvious that he had nothing on his belt that would make someone think he may possibly be wearing a holster or a holstered pistol on his left hip.
One of several still captures sent
to John Green from Paulides
Even a simple lightening of an image can often times eliminate unnecessary erroneous interpretations, none of which Paulides or alleged experts appeared to have done. This method that I speak of is mere common sense in my view. I mean … does not a person who enters a darkened room first consider turning a light on so to better see what's around them … I certainly do!
No holstered pistol visible on left hip(Photo of film frame taken by Barry Blount)
If Paulides and his alleged experts did in fact watch the Blue Creek Mountain film footage in motion, then they have some explaining to do as to how it was that each one of them failed so miserably in not catching these undeniable points. Paulides had written to John Green on August 16th
of 2009 and said the following … "The job of a professional researcher/ investigator is to not pick and choose who they feel is honest and only follow those leads, but to thoroughly and professionally investigate all angles of an incident. This process vindicates the truthful, which, I know this is what you want
." I have a hard time believing that Paulides or his alleged experts implemented that approach when they looked at the images from the Blue Creek Mountain film footage. If anything it appeared that they did just the opposite or how else could have many of the questions being put to Green ever of been considered in the first place.
So how did all this nonsense come about and who was it that started this ill-fated fiasco? Because so little has been learned by those seeking these answers because the accusers have been vague in their so-called evidence of Green and Gimlin harboring what was alleged to be a 'very, very dark secret', I can only speculate.
Please let me share what I believe may have happened ….
Several years ago Chris Murphy sent MK Davis a copy of the Blue Creek Mountain film footage so to make some still-captures for a project Chris was working on at the time. At some point after that … Davis started analyzing the footage in question on his own. Along the way and for what ever reason, Davis started thinking he was seeing things within that Blue Creek Mountain footage and from that he formulated the notion that a slaughter of Sasquatch had taken place in the Bluff Creek area on or around the time that Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin were there and had gotten the now famous film that Roger shot. From the reading of an email that I received from Bobbie Short it was apparent that Davis had shared some of his thoughts with her, which then led to Bobbie telling me about Green having a secret that she believed that she now knew and if he wasn't going to tell me what that secret was, then she would.
It wasn't until earlier this year that I started hearing about Davis having posted numerous clips on Youtube.Com whereas MK was alleging that he was finding things within the Blue Creek Mountain footage that pointed to a mass murdering of Sasquatch at Bluff Creek. Among some of his claims was that he was looking at a gravesite that Green and Dahinden were present at – that a man seen in those images holding a rifle was none other than Bob Titmus – that red blood could be seen on the sand at the gravesite location – that the presence of blood could also be seen on the ground near a pool of water along with alleged Sasquatch skin seen laid out on the ground – not to mention several other outlandish claims.
In reviewing several of MK's clips, it wasn't always being made clear by Davis that he was altering images. However, having seen a far better quality copy of the same film, it was apparent to me that this was exactly what he had done. Several such examples can be seen under the title 'MK Davis Illustrations' that are shown below …
MK Davis illustrations
It would seem to me that to anyone with any knowledge at all of the Blue Creek Mountain film footage and considering the lack of image quality that MK Davis was using … that they would see how unreliable the interpretations of MK's could be and how important it would be to seek out a more reliable film source. The fact is that the pilot (top left) in the Blue Creek Mountain film footage was not Bob Titmus. The much younger looking pilot than the 48 year old Titmus in 1967 was as tall as John Green who was 6'4" when Bob Titmus was around 5'7". In one illustration it was obvious that MK Davis had manipulated the color of the hands of the pilot (top right) so to imply they were bloody. The same seemed to have been done with the fast flowing stream as well (bottom right). Other copies of the film in question did not show red hands or a red stream.
MK Davis Illustration enlarged
In some instances there was text added to the illustrated frame stating that the image had been altered. "Three clicks of color …" was admitted to, but no reference as to what one click represented in intensity. Meanwhile at the same time MK appeared to be suggesting to the viewer other things that he simply had no proof of, but could be implied having now adjusted the color of certain selected areas of the image. For instance, on Green's copy of the same film a scene starts at the tail end of the pilot having just pet the tracking dog. The slight of hand came when MK made the hands appear bloody while offering a tale of a dog attack having just occurred. (See below)
MK Davis Illustration admitting to color intensity alteration
In fact, the stream at Bluff Creek flows so fast that I believe it reasonable to say that a 55 gallon drum of blood could be poured into the water and it couldn't turn the stream red from shore to shore before quickly being swept away downstream. To most people it was quite clear that the assertions that Davis was making couldn't stand under their own weight when thought through and yet it appeared that some people had bought into his claims without first properly analyzing them. Another such example was in Davis suggesting that he could see blood at a location that he purposed was the gravesite.
Photo of a Single film frame from John Green's Film Copy
(Photo of film frame taken by Barry Blount)
Inserted in the above film frame is a view of the log behind John Green. As the movie film advanced, Green moved away from the area marked with an 'X' and behind him was seen a spot on the tree whereas the bark was missing. The color of the bark matched that of the blurred reddish brown spots on the ground. Because blood turns very dark rather quickly when exposed to the air, it didn't seem logical to me to believe that I was looking at blood on the ground. However, it seemed logical that in an area where logging had been taking place and it being obvious that other pieces of bark was scattered about … that the spots asserted to be blood by MK was nothing more than pieces of bark on the ground
Photo of myself holding a large section of bark that is reddish brown in color on its underside.
(Photo taken by Barry Blount)
What a ridiculous affair this had turned out to be! It seemed that the more outrageous the allegation – the more eager some individuals would embrace the possibility. Whether purposely done or by carelessness … rumor and innuendo would take the place of fact and the implementing of overly darkened contrasted images from a multi-generational film would help sell the story. White had become black and black had become white. What is truth?
In one email Dave Paulides wrote to Green on August 15th
of 2009, Paulides said, "I never stated that you were harboring a dark secret
" and yet one month before and to the day Paulides had said to Hodgson that "I actually believe that John Green and Gimlin are harboring a very, very dark secret, really.
" Those emails are seen below (email addresses have been substituted with the senders name) …From: Dave PaulidesDate: 8/15/2009 2:04:07 PMTo: John GreenSubject: Re: Re: FW: BookJohnI think you have me confused with someone else.I never stated that you were harboring a dark secret, ???I never called you any names. John, I wa the COO of a major technology company, I don't belittle people. I don't call people a "fool", and, again, I have absolutely no understanding why you are treating a supporter of you like this, its bizarre behavior, respectully speaking.DaveFrom: Dave Paualides Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:10 PM To: Al HodgsonSubject: Re: BookAlThanks for the email.I hope your time with Francis isn't too laborious.I actually got my hands on a fairly old copy of the PG film, full framed with segments on it nobody has seen. It is in the experts hands and many of our impressions of what actually occurred is playing out. I actually believe that John Green and Gimlin are harboring a very, very dark secret, really.The info on the RR came from the SP museum in Sacramento, heck, I shouldve just contacted you.I miss talking with you. If you're ever down here seeing your son get ahold of me.Tribal Bigfoot was twice as hard to write as the Hoopa project, I really do hope you like it.Your good friend!Dave
Another thing that should have come to mind to a seasoned investigator and his experts in my view would have been to want to know what other footage of the scene might be found on the original unedited film that Rene Dahinden had taken. If for no other reason than to know if close-ups of this alleged 'large movie camera' could be seen so to be certain of the facts before making what could otherwise end up being seen as part of an unnecessary careless slanderous claim against other individuals.
It should be said here and now for the record that I recently followed up with both John Green who has a far superior edited copy of the film in question than Paulides obtained and Eric Dahinden who has the camera original that his father (Rene Dahinden) took at Blue Creek Mountain to see if Dave Paulides has contacted either of them to see their films. As of September 19th
of 2009, it appears that Paulides, nor his alleged experts, have attempted to see either of these men's films.
On August 22nd
of 2009 – Paulides wrote me saying … "I tried my best to explain that we have much more evidence, better evidence, more complete evidence then anyone seems to understand." If Paulides has other more complete evidence than the handful of images attached to his emails, then I am sure that the accused would like to see it. Of course his email to me was written before he will have seen this article, thus he may think differently now and not wish to be so arrogant when it comes to the abilities of his so-called alleged nameless experts … at least when it comes to photo interpretation. I would also like to say that I am not attributing the ideas and claims of MK Davis to those of Paulides. What I tried to convey that from the record and the timing of the events that what ever it was that lead to the types of questions that Paulides was presenting to John Green were most likely born out of the erroneous suggestions being made by Davis. That between the poor darkened over contrasted images combined with the power of suggestion, not to mention the altering of some of the images by MK that Paulides had been mislead and relied too much on the materials Davis had used. What I have attempted to do is look at the evidence as it has been presented so to see if it had legs or not. My conclusion is that it did not!We all make mistakes and it's been said that a mistake isn't a mistake unless we refuse to correct it. I believe that there is ample evidence that points to Paulides making a huge mistake when he claimed that Green and Gimlin were harboring a very, very dark secret. In my view there are several people who owe a big apology to John Green, Bob Gimlin, and anyone else they wrongly implicated is this most ridiculous tale. As the character of the accused was called into question, the tables have now turned and many of us will be watching to see if the accusers will have the character to admit their mistake. So far, MK Davis has removed all his video's from Youtube.com.Special thanks to John Green, Eric Dahinden, Al Hodgson, Thomas Steenburg, Chris Murphy, Sebastian Wang, and Loren Coleman for their role in helping me gather the information that I sought. Also, a very special thanks goes out to Barry Blount for taking the time to go with me to John Green's home on two occasions so to view and take photos of the edited first generation copy of Rene Dahinden's Blue Creek Mountain film. While maybe not as clear as seeing Green's film copy in person, it was Blount's photographic efforts that allows the reader of this article an opportunity to compare the quality of Paulides film image source to that of John Green's.
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